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Type 3: Inference Questions
These questions measure your ability to comprehend an argument or an idea that is strongly IMPLIED but not explicitly stated in the text. For example, if an effect is cited in the passage, an Inference question might ask about its casue. If a comparison is mad, an Inference question might ask for the basis of the comparison. You should think about not only the explicit meaning of the author's words, but the logical implications of those words.
How to Recognize Inference Questions
Inference questions will usually include the word infer, suggest, or imply.
For example: Which of the following can be inferred about X?
The author of the passage implies that X
Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 1 about X?
Tips for Inference Questions
Make sure your answer does not contradict the main idea of the passage.
Don't choose an answer just because it seems important or true. The correct answer must be inferable from the passage.
You should be able to defend your choice by pointing to explicitly stated information in the passage that leads to the inference you have selected.
Passage Excerpt: The nineteeth century brought with it a burst of new discoveries and inventions that revolutionized the candle industry and made lighting available to all. In the early-to-mid-nineteenth century, a process was developed to refine tallow (fat from animals) with alkali and sulfuric acid. The result was a product called stearin. Stearin is harder and burns longer than unrefined tallow. This breakthrough meant that it was possible to make tallow candles that would not produce the usual smoke and rancid odor. Stearins were also derived from palm oils, so vegetable waxes as well as animal fats could be used to make candle..."
Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 1 about candles before the nineteenth century?
A. They did not smoke when they were burned.
B. They produced a pleasant odor as they burned.
C. They were not available at all.
D. They contained sulfuric acid.
No comment given.